Monday, 18 February 2013

MISC to be delisted soon?

I am sad to learn that the company I had worked for almost 30 years, Malaysia International Shipping Corporation Berhad (MISC) may soon be taken private by its holding company, Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas). The local shipping giant has, since its listing in 1987, been one of the biggest public companies on Bursa Malaysia in terms of market capitalisation.
MISC was incorporated in November 1968 with the late Tun Dr. Ismail as its first chairman. He was later replaced by a prominent businessman, Mr. Robert Kuok, who is now having the distinction of being listed as the richest Malaysian. Sometimes, Malaysian as well as foreign newspapers mistakenly refer to him as Tan Sri Robert Kuok, perhaps they get mixed up with his brother Tan Sri Philip Kuok. Some quarters claimed that Robert declined to accept any title and preferred to remain as a plain Mr. Robert Kuok. After Robert's departure, the chairmanship passed on to Tan Sri Tengku Ngah, Tan Sri Raja Muhd Alias (who preferred to be adresssed to as RM Alias), Tan Sri Hassan Marican, Dato' Shamsul Azhar Abbas and now Datuk Manharlal Ratilal. The last three are Petronas nominees.
MISC started shipping operations in 1970 with two ships bareboat-chartered from the Government of Malaysia, who in turn received them from the Government of Japan as "blood debt" payment arising from atrocities committed by the Imperial Japanese Army in Malaya during World War II.   
MISC acquired the specialised and highly expensive LNG vessels in 1981/82 but could not trade them immediately because the Petronas LNG plant in Bintulu, Sarawak could not be completed on time. The French-built ships had to be mothballed in Sweden until the plant was commissioned in 1983. The laid-up vessels cost lots of money and MISC incurred quite heavy losses. Many politicians from both sides of the political divides jumped on the bandwagon to criticise MISC's management for being "over-ambitious", "wasteful" and "imprudent". Needless to say these very same politicians were deafeningly silent when things later turned around and MISC's LNG shipping business became a saviour when some of its other business lines (particularly liner) were bleeding.       
It became Petronas' subsidiary in 1998 following a corporate exercise that saw the national oil company injecting its wholly owned subsidiary, Petronas Tankers Sdn Bhd (PTSB) into MISC at the cost of almost RM6 billion, which was satisfied through the issuance of 859.9 million ordinary shares at RM6.96 per share. With this injection, MISC became the world largest owner/operator of LNG ships as ownership of these vessels has since been parked under one entity as opposed to two previously


  1. Idris,

    cud u still remember the names of those politicians?


  2. I think those tankers were laid up in Norway, not Sweden


  3. Man,

    I can't remember all but one name that still lingers in my memory is that of (Datin Paduka) Rahmah Osman. Not sure if she was already the Dy Minister of Information at that time.

  4. Mohd,

    You're right, Mat. The place was Stavanger, Norway. Still remember coz I was in A/C Dept at that time & had a chance to look at expenses a/c for laid-up costs.

  5. What will happen to shares owned by individuals on delisting?

    1. Al-Manar

      Should Petronas achieve the threshold of 90% acceptance, shares belonging to dissenting shareholders will be compulsorily acquired at the same price.